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Old February 10th, 2012, 02:19 AM   #1
giallo
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Kuala Lumpur + Borneo: Buka 24 Jam!

I spent the last two weeks of January in Malaysia. It was my first time down there, and man, what a treat. It's got the best of both worlds; cool cities and insane nature. If you're a fan of one or the other, you'll be happy. If you enjoy both, you're going to need a few spare pairs of undies.

Rather than mix all the pictures up, I'll present the pictures in order (sort of). My trip started in KL, and ended in Malaysian Borneo.

I sweated. I ate. I smiled.


KL is a big city. Even coming from SH, I was impressed by it's size. It's home to about 6 million people, moves fast, is cosmopolitan, but the people aren't brash or callous in the slightest. They are ridiculously friendly.

Oh, and the food. My god....

A huge thanks to szehoong from SCC. He was the ultimate ambassador to KL. A great guy and a good friend.





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SSP represent!

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Generally, I stayed away from the 4 star restaurants, and kept to the mobile street food carts/trucks. I'd been advised to eat as much street food as possible when in KL. Best. Decision. Ever. The ethnic Malay and Indian Malay food was next level.

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Yeah, that's a piece of deliciously BBQed stingray.

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The recently completed, but not yet open, pedestrian walkway. It winds through the CBD.

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Borneo.
It's said that if you venture off of a trail, you'll be lost within the jungle in 30 minutes. If so, prepare to die. The forest in Borneo is a jungle's jungle. 35 million years old. It's not be trifled with. I've been to a few rain forests/jungles in my time, but they all cower in the presence of this beast. Even the varied forests of Costa Rica look timid in comparison. Remember the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark? That's what the Borneo jungle reminded me of; loud noises from every direction, a suffocating amount of vines, a labyrinth of caves. This is the real deal.

Having said that, there are some really interesting cities in Borneo as well. From Kuching to Sandakan, each locale is situated around...you guess it, the jungle. The fight for urbanity continues as the rainforest constantly tries to reclaim what was once hers.






Our main mode of transport once on the ground was the river system.

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Kuching is modern. It (along with Kota Kinabalu) is usually the first place you'll set foot in when arriving on the island.
There's some non-urban stuff coming up, but I think it belongs here. You're never far from it no matter where you are in Borneo.

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Time to pack up, and head in to the unknown

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The jungle

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A pit viper. Not the kind of snake you want to stumble across.

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Every now and then, you'll make your way to some distant outpost; a lodge or hotel. If you're lucky, you'll get to dry out your clothes.

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Expect friends on your patio.

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Using these places as your home base, you can really start to dig in to the area. We explored some of the most amazing caves systems I've ever seen.

Clearwater Cave was insane.

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Deer Cave. It has a 150m/494ft tall entrance. The highest anywhere.

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There are beaches in Borneo. We found one that we had pretty much to ourselves in Bako National Park.

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The tides get low.

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Turtle Island's got some too.

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Turtle nesting tracks

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Dropping some eggs

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We flew a bit. The regional flights through MAS were pretty good.

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But mostly we were on boats cruising on the ocean or through the jungle.

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Sandakan, a gritty little port city on the east coast of the island.

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Killed a few hours in Kota Kinabalu before heading back to Shanghai.



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One of my favourite trips ever.


Thanks for staying until the end.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 03:24 AM   #2
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was the cat dead?
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Old February 10th, 2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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How much the meals cost you?
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Old February 10th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
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was the cat dead?
More likely having a nice snooze!

A refreshing collection of photos Andrew.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 09:58 PM   #5
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Thanks and its a nice capture of the essence of KL and Borneo, dirt, grime & all.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #6
UjaiDidida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giallo View Post

The recently completed, but not yet open, pedestrian walkway. It winds through the CBD.

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I never thought about lights for the walkways! Im tired of orange yellow
light, they looks so boring, should be futuristic colours - blue, green, purple or pink!
but its okay.. those lights is better than nothing.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:47 AM   #7
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Stunning thread! KL looks amazing and the rainforest look very beautiful, it is rare to see pictures of Borneo's beautiful nature on this forum.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 12:32 PM   #8
christos-greece
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Kuala Lumpur is really very nice and especially at night
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Old February 11th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giallo View Post
I spent the last two weeks of January in Malaysia. It was my first time down there, and man, what a treat. It's got the best of both worlds; cool cities and insane nature. If you're a fan of one or the other, you'll be happy. If you enjoy both, you're going to need a few spare pairs of undies.

Rather than mix all the pictures up, I'll present the pictures in order (sort of). My trip started in KL, and ended in Malaysian Borneo.

I sweated. I ate. I smiled.


KL is a big city. Even coming from SH, I was impressed by it's size. It's home to about 6 million people, moves fast, is cosmopolitan, but the people aren't brash or callous in the slightest. They are ridiculously friendly.

Oh, and the food. My god....

A huge thanks to szehoong from SCC. He was the ultimate ambassador to KL. A great guy and a good friend.




One of my favourite trips ever.


Thanks for staying until the end.

Hey Thanks for your company too! Had the pleasure and honour of bringing you around town. Sorry for the few hiccups that we've planned but couldn't materialised but then you could always do it the next trip.

And your pictures just blew me off my chair! They we're amazing and every piece is like a postcard! And wow man.......you've really captured the essence and the life of the city.

Thanks again and can I repost some of your photos in the Malaysian section?
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Old February 11th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #10
El_Greco
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Amazing!
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Old February 11th, 2012, 04:28 PM   #11
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marvelous shots of a vibrant city...thanks for sharing.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 05:38 PM   #12
Malyan
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Wonderful pictures, thank you very much! I especially appreciate that you don´t only show typical tourist pictures of famous sights, but really try to give an authentic portrait of everyday life there.
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Old February 13th, 2012, 05:41 AM   #13
giallo
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Most meals were around $5.00US.

Thanks for checking out the thread, guys.

Now get off of your computer, and go visit Malaysia!
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Old February 14th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Most meals were around $5.00US.
That cannot be called cheap given the conditions of your eating places.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #15
giallo
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^For a full fish, four to five side dishes and a drink? Seems like a pretty decent deal to me. Any cheaper, and I'd begin to wonder about the quality of the food.
What would you expect to pay?
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Old February 15th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #16
andyvia
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Quote:
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^For a full fish, four to five side dishes and a drink? Seems like a pretty decent deal to me. Any cheaper, and I'd begin to wonder about the quality of the food.
What would you expect to pay?
Street food is already doubtful on sanitation, plus it's street food without air condioning etc. I'd say the price ok if it's inside a restaurant. I actually expect as cheap as in Bangkok.
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